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Check out the numbers behind Peter Sagan's incredible Giro d'Italia stage victory

Joe Robinson
14 Oct 2020

The Slovak proved that he is still cycling's greatest showman with a vintage performance

Stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia was quite possibly Peter Sagan's greatest ever performance. A big call for a three-time World Champion and Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders winner but it was honestly that special.

Many had begun to ponder whether the Slovak's powers were beginning to wane. He underperformed at the Tour de France, failing to take a stage and missing out on an eighth green points jersey, comfortably beaten by Deceuninck-QuickStep's Sam Bennett. 

The 30-year-old then came to the Giro d'Italia, consequently skipping the Cobbled Classics to keep his promise made at a time when the race was scheduled to start in Hungary earlier in the year, something that did not happen.

He has been knocking on the door, taking second on Stage 2, Stage 4 and Stage 7 but seemed to be missing that former killer instinct that had guided him to many past victories. That was until Stage 10.

On the day that Mitchelton-Scott and Jumbo-Visma went home due to positive Covid tests and the race looked like it may not reach Milan after all, cycling's greatest showman put in a performance for the ages and his incredible stats prove that.

The Bora-Hansgrohe man changed tactics, battling to be in the day's break on an incredibly tough stage from Lanciano to Tortoreto. He had to compete with a duo of Ineos Grenadiers and Movistar riders in the break and a hungry Groupama-FDJ team chasing him from behind.

At one point, Sagan was within 25 seconds of the hunting peloton but he was never caught. He dug deep, stayed clear of the chasers and produced a stage win that really convinced us the Sagan of old still exists.

And the power numbers released by Velon also show just that.

On the final Tortoreto climb, it looked like curtains for Sagan as Bahrain-McLaren's Pello Bilbao attacked from the peloton of favourites just a stone's throw behind him.

But when it came to the steepest section of the climb – which averaged 12.5%, Sagan proved his class with a mighty 580W surge for 1 minute 44 seconds on the steepest section of road. Maxing out at 800W, Sagan sat at 7.73W/kg to keep the chasers at bay and crest the final climb alone.

His work was not done there, however. After the final descent, there was still around 9km of flat road to race before the finish line and with riders such as Brandon McNulty and Tao Geoghegan Hart launching attacks, he had to dig deep for the win.

Over the final 7.5km of the stage, Sagan managed to tap out a steady 430W, just the 5.7W/kg after four hours of racing in the day's breakaway. More staggering than the watts was that he averaged 50.8kmh, on his own, on a flat road.

This helped contribute to some pretty breathtaking numbers for the entire stage.

Across the 177km run from Lanciano to Tortoreto, Sagan rode at an average speed of 43.9kmh for 4 hours 2 minutes, hitting 84.3kmh as his highest speed.

To keep the advancing peloton at bay, he held an average 330W for the entire stage, surging to a max of 1,160W on one of the climbs giving his 75kg frame 4.40W/kg for the entire day's stage. And his weighted average power, well that was a small matter of 395W.

Not impressed? Try holding 50.8kmh on a road bike for 7.5km on the flat or ride at 7.73W/kg for almost two minutes after gassing it for 100 miles. Then you will be.

Yesterday was one of Sagan's greatest performances from a man well-versed in giving memorable performances. Chapeau!